Let us pray (in silence) [that we may desire to know what is right and be ready to do it]
Grant to us, Lord [or O God], we pray,
the spirit to always think and do what is right,
that we, who cannot exist without you,
may be able to live according to your will;
through Jesus Christ
who is alive with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
This is my rendering of the Latin Collect from one of the September Eucharists in the Leonine sacramentary (#1015). Fourth of the Sunday Eucharists in Gelasian (#1190). Supplement to the Gregorian (#1153) has it for ninth Sunday after Pentecost Octave, which is the same Sunday it held (9th Sunday after Trinity) in the Sarum Missal and all Books of Common Prayer from 1549-1928. It retains this place in the Roman Catholic Extraordinary Form; in the Ordinary Form it is the collect for Thursday in the First Week of Lent:
Largire nobis, quaesumus, Domine, semper spiritum cogitandi quae recta sunt, propitius et agendi: ut, qui sine te esse non possumus, secundum te vivere valeamus.
Massey Shepherd says that this collect “expresses as succinctly as possible the whole doctrine of grace.”
largire is imperative.
secundum agreeably to, in accordance with, according to.
cogito is more than “to think”. Deeper reflection, true pursuit in the mind, consider thoroughly, to ponder, to weigh, reflect upon, think.
See also Philippians 4:8-9.
This collect has been used in a variety of forms in South Africa, Canada, Ireland, ASB (CofE). I’m surprised I can’t see in the current Common Worship (CofE). I cannot easily spot it in NZPB.
Cranmer in 1549 had this as:
GRAUNT to us Lorde we beseche thee, the spirite to thinke and doe alwayes suche thynges as be rightfull; that we, which cannot be without thee, may by thee be able to live accordyng to thy wyll; Through Jesus Christe our Lorde.
Cranmer added “by thee” to the original.
In 1662 “which cannot be without thee” was weakened to “who cannot do any thing that is good without thee”, and “able” became “enabled”.
BCP (TEC) Proper 14:
Grant to us, Lord, we pray, the spirit to think
and do always those things that are right, that
we, who cannot exist without you, may by you
be enabled to live according to your will;
through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and
reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God,
for ever and ever. Amen.
Father, without you we can do nothing.
By your Spirit help us to know what is right
and to be eager in doing your will.
In the failed 1998 English Missal translation:
in your boundless mercy
grant us always the desire to know what is right and the readiness to do it,
so that we who cannot exist without you
may direct our lives according to your will.
We make our prayer through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever.
Bestow on us, we pray, O Lord,
a spirit of always pondering on what is right
and of hastening to carry it out,
and, since without you we cannot exist,
may we be enabled to live according to your will.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.